29 July, 2008

Plenty Reads

Author Kerry Cue will speak at Ivanhoe Library in August

At the beginning of the year we launched our Plenty Reads program at Ivanhoe Library. This reading campaign aims to promote reading in our region with a visiting author program, a reading wiki and other activities to encourage everyone to read.

August will see more action with the Books Alive - we have 14 authors visiting our branches! Books Alive is a federal government initiative that uses the money from the GST on books to promote reading and publishing in Australia. We are pleased to announce the following program:

Kim McKay will be at Watsonia on Thursday 7 August at 2.00pm

Toni Jordan in conversation with Alison Croggon at Diamond Valley on Monday 11 August at 6.30pm

Chrissie Perry in conversation with Meredith Badger at Rosanna on Saturday 23 August at 10.30am

Debra Adelaide at Mill Park on Monday 25 August at 6.30pm

Children's Adventure Day at Eltham on Sunday 31 August from 1pm - 5pm with Archimede Fusillo, Michael Pryor, Anna Walker, Holly Sievers (13 year old with 2 books!) Nick Place, Marion Roberts

Kerry Cue at Ivanhoe on Thursday 14 August at 6.30pm

Anne Manne at Watsonia on Monday 18 August at 7.00pm

For more information about the authors, dates and times check out YarraPlentyBooks

There has been some debate about the Books Alive program, in particular in the Australian on the weekend. Beth Driscoll says:

Books Alive is an admirable attempt to provide guidance in a world where thousands of new books are printed each year. The campaign uses government money to give literature new market power and provide a boost to overall literacy.
At the same time, Books Alive's popularity-oriented approach flattens culture, mixing literary fiction in with true crime and promoting them all like blockbuster films. It contributes to a publishing culture where a handful of bestselling books are flogged at every opportunity, while the rest sink without a trace.

Do you have a view on Books Alive? we'd love to hear if you do.

21 July, 2008

Local media

Marketing & Media Co ordinator Chris Dennis at the briefing

Last week the library service held a media briefing for local journalists. We are very appreciative of the positive and cooperative relationship we have with our local newspapers, which are the most widely read by the community and we wanted to let them know that.

We also talked about how libraries are changing and highlighted some of our new projects, particularly the Taste of Web online learning program. We know that if we get good coverage for our events and activities that many more people participate because of the wide reach of local papers.

Journalists too are grappling with the changes in their world, as blogging unleashes the "citizen journalist" who is not responsible to an editor or an organisation, but is free to independently comment and publish online. Newspapers are also incorporating blogging in their online editions, encouraging people to offer their views on different stories. Web 2.0, the interactive, participative web is really changing the world we live in.

How is it changing your environment? Please feel free to leave a comment.

15 July, 2008

Eltham Branch

Heading up the stairs to Eltham library

This is the second in the series of highlighting our branch libraries.

Eltham Library is a beautiful place, voted by Eltham people as the heart of their community. It is a mud brick building with a wonderful timber ceiling that was designed by award winning architect, Greg Burgess. The library is the busiest in our system, with the most loans and visits and the programs and activities are very popular.

Nillumbik Shire Council is currently planning an extension and repurposing of the library to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of Eltham people. Greg Burgess has been requested to submit plans to update the library and provide more space, especially for children. With the introduction of RFID we can reduce the space needed for a circulation desk and create a reading lounge complete with gas log fire. We will put more pcs in and the learning lounge will be available for individual or group online learning.

The plans will be on display in the library from next week and staff from Council and the library will be there to answer your questions. The times are:
11am - 12 noon Tuesday 22 July
7 pm - 8 pm Wed 23 July
10.30 am Thursday 24 July

We hope that you are as excited as us about the possibilities!

Let me know what you think.

07 July, 2008

A taste of web 2.0

We are very excited about our newest program, a Taste of Web 2.0: connecting @ your local library.

Starting July 25, this selfpaced online course will introduce you to some popular Web 2.0 applications. Those who complete the program will go into the draw for one of 9 iPods. Registrations open July 11.

The program is divided into 6 modules and covers 14 different technologies including blogs, photosharing, podcasting, image generators, facebook, second life and skype. There are small podcasts to guide you through, and we will have help available online, as well as at your local branch.

During the program you are encouraged to write about what you have learned on your blog. After completing the program and filling in the evaluation form, you will be eligible to go into the draw for 1 of 9 iPod Nanos, one for each branch (including the Mobile Library.) You need to be a member of the library and live or work in Banyule, Nillumbik or Whittlesea local council areas.

We have a limit of 1,000 people participating in this program, so get yourselves organised to register on July 11!

This program was inspired by the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's 23 Things.